Hi folks, I hope you are writing. I'm working on a novel right now, and I thought that I had really gotten the thing together. I have all these beautiful sentences, and I'm right, the writing is gorgeous, but it's not producing the right stuff in my readers. I have to cut the sentences because I'm info-dumping and also just pulling away from the central plot. I had to have a good cry to do these cuts. I've been working on this book for a long time. I'm the slowest writer ever. I really am.
My advice is: it's okay to cry, but don't give up. I think being kind to yourself is a good plan. It really helped me to go back to a draft in 2003. (I said I was working on this for a long time). I see my fear there -- fear to reveal my character, to let anyone see into the window of her soul to know her anger, her desperation, her hunger. I've been slowly carving out the shape of this thing. I stand by the cuts and additions I made then. I must be brave and stand by the ones I'm making today. I want so deeply to express to others what I know.
I struggle with verbal communication. I talk too much, don't listen enough, blurt out the wrong thing at the wrong time too often, have to say things 20 times to get to what I mean. I'd be lost if it weren't for the written word. I want to spin a story about what it means to be hungry to know things and yet have little access to knowledge and how that hunger shapes you. I'm summoning up all my courage. Calling out the better angels of sacrifice and endurance and doing the bravest hardest thing I know: saying what I mean.
If you are truly going to create something worthy, it's going to hurt. It's going to be wonderful too. Open up and let it happen. Peace.
I'm posting a silly doodle of a story I love: Noah's Ark. Noah was supposed to have taken about 120 years to build the ark after he got wind of the vision of it from the creator of all good things. It takes time to do something truly amazing that will lift other above the floods in this world.
Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do. Don't bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself. William Faulkner